Thai rising star Ratchanok Intanon tasted sweet victory over German top shuttler Juliane Schenk and won her way into her first ever Superseries final, at the Li Ning China Open in Shanghai.
By Serla Rusli, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)
The seventeen-year-old Ratchanok Intanon (pictured) has maintained her solid performance and results throughout the tournament – after beating Tine Baun in the quarter-finals, she stepped up her game and beat even higher ranked Schenk in 18-21, 21-10, 21-14.
Awaiting her challenge for the title is none other than Olympic champion and home favourite Li Xuerui, who was slightly troubled by her Japanese opponent Minatsu Mitani but managed to finish the match in 21-9, 23-21. Li and Intanon met a few weeks back in the first round of the Denmark Open, and even more recently in the China Badminton Super League, with Li prevailing both times.
The unstoppable Korean men’s doubles Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae (pictured) have once again proven that they are a duo to watch out for. Unseeded in the tournament, they are now making a second finals appearance in back-to-back Superseries tournaments after beating fourth seeded Japanese Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa 21-16, 21-15 in the semi-finals. Their last test will be against top seeds Mathias Boe / Carsten Morgensen, who defeated Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong in 21-16, 21-16.
Apart from men’s doubles event, host China has been able to clinch at least one spot in each final. Home favourites Xu Chen / Ma Jin (pictured below) were in trouble early in their mixed doubles semi-final but soon managed to keep Jang Ye Na in the backcourt for so much of the match that they cruised smoothly to the finals. Xu/Ma will face Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying, who shunned Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir 21-19, 21-14.
Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang booked their slot in the women’s doubles final after a quick win over their Thai opponents Narissapat Lam / Saralee Thungthongkam. They will face Miyuki Maeda/Satoko Suetsuna after the Japanese pair served Korea’s Jang Ye Na her second defeat of the evening.
Men’s singles will be an all-Chinese affair between Chen Long and Wang Zhengming. Wang had a walkover over compatriot Chen Jin while Chen Long outplayed his Malaysian opponent Chong Wei Feng by a huge margin for an easy 21-6, 21-7 win.
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